1 John 3

The Privileges and Duties of God’s Children

Think what love the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called ‘children of God’; as indeed we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it has not learned to know him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is that, when it is revealed, we will be like Christ; because we will see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope with regard to Christ tries to make themselves pure — as Christ is pure. Everyone who lives sinfully is living in violation of law. Sin is violation of law. And you know that Christ appeared to take away our sins; and in him sin has no place. No one who maintains union with him lives in sin; no one who lives in sin has ever really seen him or learned to know him. My children, do not let anyone mislead you. The person who lives righteously is righteous — as Christ is righteous. The person who lives sinfully belongs to the devil, for the devil has sinned from the first. It was for this that the Son of God appeared, that he might undo the devil’s work.

No one who has received the new life from God lives sinfully, because the nature of God dwells within them; and they cannot live in sin, because they have received the new life from God. 10 By this the children of God are distinguished from the children of the devil — No one who lives unrighteously comes from God, and especially the person who does not love others. 11 For these are the tidings that we heard from the first — that we are to love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? It was because his life was bad while his brother’s was good.

13  Do not wonder, friends, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love each other. The person who does not love remains in a state of death. 15 The person who hates another is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life within them. 16  We have learned to know what love is from this — that Christ laid down his life on our behalf. Therefore we also ought to lay down our lives for each other. 17 But, if anyone has worldly possessions, and yet looks on while one of our own is in need, and steels their heart against that person, how can it be said that the love of God is within them? 18 My children, do not let our love be mere words, or end in talk; let it be true and show itself in acts.

19  By that we will know that we are on the side of the truth; and we will satisfy ourselves in God’s sight, 20 that if our conscience condemns us, yet God is greater than our conscience and knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, then we approach God with confidence, 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we are laying his commands to heart, and are doing what is pleasing in his sight. 23 His command is this — that we should put our trust in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, in accordance with the command that he gave us. 24 And the person who lays his commands to heart maintains union with Christ, and Christ with them. And by this we know that Christ maintains union with us — by our possession of the Spirit which he gave us.

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